Reagan von Richter and the star crew of the last Schuster show of the year
The Schuster Theater of the University of Gannon completes the programming of its shows for the 2021-2022 academic year with the production “Emilie: The Marquise du Châtelet defends her life tonight”. The play kicked off on April 21 and will run through Saturday.
Written by Lauren Gunderson, “Emilie” is a dramatic comedy centered on Emilie du Châtelet, a French natural philosopher and mathematician of the early 1730s. After her death, du Châtelet returns and relives her life to determine a winner in the fight between her heart and his mind.
She tries to determine what carries more weight in life – love or philosophy – by reliving her life with her husband, her affair and fall with the French writer Voltaire, her work as a woman in the 18th century and the events that marked the end. of his life.
Although set in the 18th century, Emilie’s story and the lives of the characters, from Voltaire to Emilie’s daughter, Geneviève, to her later love interest Jean François de Saint-Lambert, were eerily relatable. This may have been due to the writing of the play or the actors’ acting skills.
The role of Emilie was apparently made for Regan von Richter, a senior digital media and theater technology and design specialist. Von Richter fits right into the character, with an air of independence, intelligence, and self-confidence throughout the show. Emilie’s sardonic sense of humor is believable and flows easily through Richter.
At no point in the series does it feel like the role is forced, which is the mark of good acting.
Von Richter also embodies the most vulnerable moments incredibly well, like the moment of his own death, the fights with Voltaire, and a humiliating scene with his daughter, Genevieve, played by second-year theater communication student Stella Przybylinski.
In the play, Emilie has an affair with Voltaire, whom her husband, the Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomont, played by Anthony DiFonzo, a criminal justice major, knows about but does nothing to stop.
DiFonzo plays Emilie’s reliable and supportive husband well and makes it clear to the audience that he was one of the only constants in her tumultuous life.
Voltaire, played by second-year theater communication student Marino Martin, is perhaps Emilie’s longest and most consistent love interest throughout the play, as they move into one of his residences.
There they work and study together, and everything seems perfect to both of them until Voltaire betrays Emilie’s trust and sends the plot of her life into a downward spiral.
In my eyes, Martin plays the perfect Voltaire. His delivery of lines is spot on, and just like von Richter, there isn’t a moment when the role feels forced. Martin employs a chic accent and, whether he likes it or not, a haughty air that brings the French writer to life.
As the fallout reaches its climax and Emilie’s life draws to a close, she begins a relationship with poet, philosopher, and military officer Jean François de Saint-Lambert, played by first-year theater communication student Anthony Nuñez. , who, like von Richter and Martin, is no stranger to the scene.
Nuñez brings another historical figure to life and characterizes him well as the passionate, starry-eyed true love at the end of Emilia’s life.
The cast as a whole did an amazing job of bringing an important female historical figure and those who lived around her to life. “Emilie” showcased the real talent that is present at Gannon’s own theater.
As von Richter and DiFonzo graduate and leave their days at the Schuster Theater, he is undoubtedly in good hands with the underclass who will continue to produce quality shows for the Gannon and Erie communities.
“Emilie: The Marquise du Châtelet defends her life tonight” continues this week, with broadcasts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 and students get a 50% discount with their student card.